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Advisers setting themselves up for failure with female stereotypes

Financial advisers may be missing out on new high net worth female clients by buying into stereotypes about their risk appetite, according to new research.

Financial advisers may be missing out on new high net worth female clients by buying into stereotypes about their risk appetite, according to new research.

In Women and wealth: Female entrepreneurs, HNWI and how to approach them, research group Wealthmonitor said the assumption women are more risk-averse than men is an oversimplification.

It said it was a mistake to view women as a coherent group and that appetite for risk is instead governed more strongly by factors such as age, professional and cultural background, and previous investment experience.

Anna Sofat, founder and chief executive of financial services firm Addidi, who was interviewed for the report said: "I would say, generally speaking, entrepreneurs are used to taking risks and are quite comfortable with that.

"Younger women too, before you have families and such responsibilities there can be a feeling of having less to lose therefore you are more prone to taking [risks].”

The report reckoned that the number of HNW females is set to increase dramatically over the course of the 21st century as more women in more countries have access to greater education and career opportunities.

It pointed out the number of women on the Forbes Billionaires List increased 32.6% to 138 from 2012 to 2013, and said a lot of new fortunes are likely to be generated in the IT and the financial services sector.

It concluded that advisers that cling to the assumption women are more risk averse could lose out on these new female clients, who will chose to take advice from finance professionals that take more time to correctly understand their needs.  

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